The Dreamcast is a video game console made by Sega, and is the
successor to the Sega Saturn. The Dreamcast was the first entry
in the sixth generation of video game consoles and was released
in late 1998, before its contemporaries — Sony's PlayStation 2,
Microsoft's Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube.
Sega discontinued the Dreamcast in North America in February 2002
and withdrew entirely from the console hardware business, making it
the company's last console. However, support of the system continued
in Europe and Oceania until the end of 2002, as well as in Japan,
where consoles were still sold until 2007 and new licensed games
continued to be released.
According to Bernie Stolar, former President and CEO of Sega of America,
the Dreamcast was discontinued because the new chairman of Sega wanted
the company to focus on software.
Despite its short lifespan, the Dreamcast was widely hailed as ahead
of its time, and is still held in high regard for pioneering online
console gaming—it was the first console to include a built-in modem
and Internet support for online play. As of 2010, the console
is still supported through various homebrew video game releases.
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